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Passing of J. Michael Quinlan

Bureau's Fifth Director passed away November 4, 2023

Passing of J. Michael Quinlan

J. Michael Quinlan

(FBOP) - Former Federal Bureau of Prisons Director J. Michael Quinlan passed away on Saturday, November 4, 2023. He was 82. After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Social Science from Fairfield University in1963, a Juris Doctor from Fordham University in 1966 and a Master of Laws from George Washington University in 1970, Mr. Quinlan began his Bureau career in 1971 as an Attorney in the Central Office in Washington, DC. He then served as Executive Assistant to the Warden, U.S. Penitentiary, Leavenworth, KS and as Regional Counsel for the Northeast Regional Office. In 1975, Mr. Quinlan was named Executive Assistant to the Director, a position he held until 1978, when he was named Superintendent of the Federal Prison Camp, Eglin Air Force Base, FL. He became Warden at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI), Otisville, NY in 1980, and transferred back to Central Office as Deputy Assistant Director, Medical and Services Division, in 1985. He was named Deputy Director in March 1986, a position he held until his appointment as the fifth Director of the agency in July 1987. Mr. Quinlan served as the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons until his retirement in 1992.

Mr. Quinlan was a strong proponent of strategic planning to prepare the agency for the future. Having been the Director during the 1987 Atlanta/Oakdale Disturbances and the 1991 Talladega Disturbance, he was known for his patience and leadership in times of crisis. In 1988, he received the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award; and in 1991, he received the Presidential Meritorious Rank Award and the Attorney General's Exceptional Leadership Award. Mr. Quinlan received the National Public Service Award of the National Academy of Public Administration and the American Society of Public Administration, and the President's Excellence Award from the League of United Latin American Citizens, in 1992.